Bachelor of Arts in History: Honors Concentration

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

History (BA): Honors Concentration

Language Proficiency

To graduate from the history honors program, a student must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at a level comparable to that of students who have successfully completed one year of college courses. This level of proficiency is to be demonstrated as follows:

  • Two semester-length courses of college-level language with a grade of B or better, or
  • Equivalent proficiency in a foreign language based on successful completion of an examination to be administered by the Foreign Languages Department.

Grade Performance Requirement

Students are expected to maintain a minimum grade of B in each course to meet the honors major requirements, and a grade point average of 3.25 in all courses taken to complete the honors program. Additionally, students will be required to have an overall grade point average of 3.25 in all university-level courses taken to fulfill the university requirements for the honors degree, Students failing to do so, but who meet the requirements for the BA in History, will graduate with the BA in History, but not with the Honor’s Concentration.


In order for a student to be eligible for admission to the Honors Program, the following requirements must be met.

  • An overall GPA of 3.25 in courses at the college level. An overall GPA of 3.25 in history courses taken.
  • Students must successfully complete the following courses with a grade of B or better prior to being admitted. The courses listed below are SF State courses. Equivalent courses at other institutions are also acceptable.

History (B.A.): Honors Concentration — 45 units

Required Courses (15 units)

HIST 110History of Western Civilization I3
or HIST 114 World History to 1500
HIST 111History of Western Civilization II3
or HIST 115 World History Since 1500
HIST 120History of the U.S. through Reconstruction3
HIST 121History of the U.S. since Reconstruction3
HIST 300GWSeminar in Historical Analysis - GWAR3

Fields of Study (24 units)

Option I:

Students should complete 12 upper division units in one field of study and 6 upper division units in each of two other fields of study.  U.S. History must be one of the three fields.

  • U.S. History
  • Choose two fields from among the following: Africa, Asia (may include the Middle East), Europe (either Europe before 1500 or Europe since 1500), or Latin America.

Option II:

Students may complete 6 units in each of the three fields of study, distributed geographically as above, and 6 elective units, so long as a minimum of 12 units fall under a theme approved on departmental advisement such as Empire and Imperialism; Gender, Sexuality and the Body; Religion and Society; or the Pre-modern World (applicable courses are listed in the department’s Undergaduate Advising Booklet).

Proseminar and Honor's Thesis (6 units)

HIST 640Proseminar: European History3
or HIST 642 Proseminar: American History
or HIST 644 Proseminar in World History
HIST 697Honors Thesis3

The proseminar will be taken after HIST 300GW, normally in the major field. The honors thesis will be taken after the proseminar and will normally represent an extension of the work in that proseminar, to be supervised by the proseminar instructor. For exceptions, consult the honors advisor.

Of the 45 required units, 33 must be upper division. History majors cannot choose CR/NC grading in more than two history courses for their major, and cannot elect CR/NC grading in HIST 300GW or their proseminar. With the consent of the honors advisor, students may offer up to 6 units from other departments to count toward honors concentration requirements.

Complementary Studies

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts in History are required to complete 12 units of complementary studies. The History department will accept complementary studies in any of four distinct paths outlined below from courses with a prefix other than HIST, and not cross-listed with HIST. These units can be earned in residence at San Francisco State, in a Study Abroad Program, or transferred.

  1. Within an established minor students will satisfy complementary studies by completing 12 units from a single minor. Of these 12 units, a maximum of 6 units may be lower division.
  2. Foreign Language Students must complete 12 units in a single foreign language.
  3. Study Abroad Students must successfully pass 12 units with any prefix on a CSU or SF State supported study abroad program.
  4. Flexibility Option Students, in consultation with an advisor, may choose 12 upper division units in courses with a prefix other than HIST, and not cross-listed with HIST.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 year)

This 2016 - 2017 roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in History

California legislation SB 1440 (2009), mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.